The Mystery of Snapchat

You have probably heard of Snapchat, the yellow app with a white ghost, the app that dominates most teenagers phone screens and drains their data usage. It is also possibly the answer to why some of your children’s phone bills are way over their limit!

It’s a popular mobile app which allows you to send videos and pictures, both of which disappear after a certain amount of seconds of a person viewing them. As well as being able to be used as a messaging app, Snapchat offers more that what meets the eye.

I would probably say that Snapchat is used mostly for its wide array of features on top of taking photos and messaging services. After capturing a photo or brief video, Snapchat allows you to add a caption, doodles, stickers and a filter.

The doodling can be done with the coloured pens or pens that allow you to draw with emojis.
There are three types of filters; ones which are used with the front camera when you take a selfie, filters which allows the photo in a variation of shades and also filters that allow a centre popups such as; the time, the date, the weather, the speed which you are travelling at and the temperature.

Location services are often very handy to have on when using Snapchat, as special filters appear based on where you are. All filters appear when you swipe to either side of your phone screen on the photo.

Snapchat also have a sticker selection as well as ones which you can cut out yourself and enlarged versions of your keyboard emojis.

You can then send your finished creation to a friend. This is called a snap.

Alternatively, you can add your snap to your story. Everyone with a Snapchat account is entitled to their own story. A story is a 24-hour collection of all your snaps that can be broadcasted to the world or just your followers.

Snaps, pictures and videos can all be saved to your memories or camera roll for storage. Most commonly, my generation use Snapchat and it’s filters to take a ‘decent’ selfie. Basically the key to take a decent selfie these days is, to angle your camera 45 degrees so the filter can’t detect your face for in order to become a dog or a rabbit, but still leave you with a softer looking face without blemishes – just what everyone wants these days!

So yes, at its core Snapchat is used for sending people pictures and keeping in contact with friends despite the features within the app itself.

For me, I use Snapchat as a way of contacting my friends, keeping my streaks, staying connected with the world and reading articles about celebs and the latest trends.

One of my favourite things about Snapchat, is using the discovery page, thousands of articles all on the latest Goss, that as a teen, is important to keep up with. I also like to keep up with the weekly buzz feed quizzes of which this weeks is ‘can you sneak out of the house?’. Not only does buzzfeed make an appearance, but vogue and the food network also. As it is essential for teens to keep up to date with the latest, thanks to Snapchat and its discovery page, I now know 3 crazy facts about banana splits, the fierce message behind bikini pictures, a random 25yearold wants ‘up skirt’ photos made illegal and what it takes to be Kylie Jenner’s friend!

So, it is currently 36 minutes past 8 on Wednesday 9th August and I am sitting on my bed with my Snapchat open. Oh and I just got a Snap:)

I have just sent my streaks for the second time today, as well as my sister’s, and her friend’s, and my friend’s…which reminds me, I know I have a mad obsession with them and I know a lot of others would agree too. Most probably why Snapchat is still going.

Streaks, if you looked up the definition then you would maybe get something along the lines of ‘run naked in a public place so as to shock or amuse others’, I can assure you that’s not what Snapchat streaks mean!

I first knew what a streak on Snapchat was about a year ago when people kept sending me snaps with the word ‘streak’ on it or the letter ‘S’ or some kind of abbreviation like ‘strks’. So, for the laugh I decided to send them back to my friends and suddenly within 4 days of continuing this, numbers and emojis started appearing next to peoples names. Curious, I bought it up in conversation at school, whist some were in the same position as me, others explained what it was all about. There really wasn’t much point in them, yet a year later, my highest streak is 323. This basically means I have been sending a snap to my friend for 323 days.

In order to get a streak with someone, both people have to send a snap everyday. It works on a 24hour timer, so if you forget to send a snap then you lose the streak. This week my sister has been off to Cornwall with her friend and so both of them have asked me to keep their streaks as if they loose them, it could be fatal. Emojis also appear alongside the numbers which you can set yourself. The different emojis tell you different things; whether you have a streak with them, who is in your best friends list – generally the people you talk to most, and special emojis that tell you if yours both each others number 1 best friend. Snapchat certainly has it’s more exciting aspects, not just talking.

Snapchat has allowed me to associate myself with more people, as when I talk to people, I have the option to send a picture of myself. For me, this makes me feel more like I know the person more than I would if we were just texting. Additionally, all though this may seem a bit bizarre, but I find Snapchat prevents disagreements. As we are all aware, people, especially teens, could all do better without the influence of social media due to the issues and this image that we all have to be perfect. However, talking on Snapchat with a picture of your face helps get the message across which can avoid insensitive or misunderstanding comments.

Life’s more fun when you live in the moment. Happy snapping 🙂

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